Warren Buffett ready to double down on clean energy

The EPA's proposed draft rule is pushing utilities to invest in renewable energy.
Written by Kirsten Korosec, Contributor

Warren Buffett is ready to put another $15 billion in renewable energy, double the amount the billionaire's company Berkshire Hathaway has already invested.

Buffett made the comment during the Edison Electric Institute's annual convention in Las Vegas on Monday, reported Bloomberg News.

Berkshire Hathaway's unit MidAmerican Energy Holdings, now called Berkshire Hathaway Energy, has increased its interest and position in renewable energy over the past three years. It most recently agreed to supply Google's Iowa data center with wind power.

Google announced in April 2014 it contracted for more than one gigawatt, or 1,000 megawatts, of renewable energy. The agreement is similar to its 2012 contract with Oklahoma utility Grand River Dam Authority. Under the deal with MidAmerican, Google will be supplied with up to 407 MW of wind energy from several projects built as part of the utility's Wind VIII program--an initiative to add 656 new turbines in Iowa by the end of 2015.

Two years ago, Berkshire Hathaway unit MidAmerican Energy Holdings created a new business to handle all of its renewable energy interests. The Des Moines, Iowa-based MidAmerican Renewables oversees wind, geothermal, solar and hydro projects.

In the months before the new business unit was created, MidAmerican had already made significant wind energy holdings. In January 2012, the company announced plans to build 176 turbines in Iowa by the end of the year, an investment that will push its wind power capacity to 2,284 megawatts, the most of any investor-owned U.S. utility.

Utilities will increasingly need to turn to renewable energy to meet proposed rules from the EPA. Earlier this month, the EPA proposed a draft rule that would require power plants to cut 30 percent in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 compared with 2005.

Thumbnail: SunPower


This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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